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BUS SERVICE OPTIMIZATION INITIATIVE TO DRIVE NEW INVESTMENT, GREATER EFFICIENCIES

Innovative plan supports taxpayers, matches service demand; Public hearings scheduled for June

May 14, 2012
NJT-12-031

NEWARK, NJ — Reaffirming NJ TRANSIT’s commitment to customers and the hard-working taxpayers of the State of New Jersey, NJ TRANSIT Executive Director James Weinstein today unveiled an innovative plan designed to optimize NJ TRANSIT bus operations for sustained, long-term growth, while also reinvesting critical resources to expand and enhance bus service within key transportation corridors.

“The innovative Bus Service Optimization proposal announced today
fulfills the call for government to provide smarter, more efficient services at less cost to customers and the taxpayers,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director James Weinstein. “A measurable result of NJ TRANSIT’s successful Scorecard initiative, Bus Service Optimization will ensure that NJ TRANSIT uses its limited resources to provide the best service to the most customers—all while holding the line on fares.”

NJ TRANSIT’s proposed Bus Service Optimization initiative resulted from extensive examination of each of NJ TRANSIT’s existing bus routes. As part of this process, the bus routes were broken down into seventeen groupings or geographic markets and reviewed using twenty separate metrics, including customers per hour, fare box recovery and subsidy per customer. The proposed initiative will go before the public in June, when two public hearings will be held in Newark and Wayne to solicit public input.

“NJ TRANSIT’s leaders in bus operations, finance, planning, research and civil rights utilized specific, clear metrics while also focusing on customer impacts, economic impact, available travel alternatives and the overall impact on the community,” said Weinstein. “The end result is an innovative service plan that provides the greatest return to our customers and to New Jersey’s taxpayers.”

As a result of extensive study and analysis, NJ TRANSIT’s Bus Service Optimization initiative forecasts more than $3 million in annual operation savings. These savings will be reflected in the upcoming Fiscal Year 2013 budget and will be utilized to help keep fares stable for the nearly 250 million customers who utilize NJ TRANSIT services on an annual basis.

Of this savings, NJ TRANSIT will be immediately reinvesting more than $1.02 million to expand and enhance bus service within the City of Newark, in addition to key corridors between Newark, Newark Airport and Elizabeth.

“Not only will our Bus Service Optimization keep fares stable for NJ TRANSIT customers, but a portion of the optimization savings will be reinvested back into additional service within the Newark corridor, as well as between Newark, Newark Airport and Elizabeth,” said Weinstein. “This reinvestment of Bus Service Optimization savings will ultimately enhance the customer experience for those traveling in this critical transportation corridor.”

This reinvestment of savings will be reflected in:

  • The restructuring of Route No. 62 (Newark-Woodbridge-Perth Amboy) into two separate routes, allowing for the creation of 24/7 service between the heavily-travelled Newark-Newark Airport and Elizabeth Corridor. Optimization reinvestment will increase bus service reliability, balance resources and help spur job access at the airport.
  • The extension of Route No. 99 (Newark-Hillside Cross-town) to the Branch Brook Park Newark Light Rail Station. Reinvestment will provide Newark residents and employees with connections to more than a dozen routes and access to the light rail system. It will also improve service to major medical facilities, schools and universities.

Eleven bus routes were reviewed for adjustment following this comprehensive process. These routes are either largely underutilized, or directly compete with NJ TRANSIT rail or light rail services. These routes average 16 customers per trip, in comparison to the system wide average of 35.  

The routes include:

  • No. 42 (Newark-18th Avenue): Discontinue service
  • No. 43 (Newark-Jersey City): Discontinue service
  • No. 56 (Elizabeth/Cranford/Winfield): Widen peak hour headway from 25/40 minutes to 60 minutes
  • No. 57 (Elizabeth/Linden): Eliminate first/last round trips on weekdays
  • No. 75 (Butler-Newark): Discontinue service
  • No. 78 (Newark-Secaucus): Discontinue service
  • No. 93 (Bloomfield-Newark Light Rail): Discontinue service
  • No. 181 (Union City-NY/GWB): Discontinue Sunday service
  • No. 258 (Go 28) (Bloomfield/Newark Airport): Eliminate University Heights Branch, adjust headway to 30 minutes all day
  • No. 451 (Camden/Lindenwold PATCO): Eliminate service between Voorhees Town Center and Lindenwold PATCO
  • No. 604 (Trenton/East Trenton): Eliminate some peak-hour service between Trenton Transit Center and Justice Complex

For these 11 separate routes, most customers will not be significantly impacted, as system access remains available with reasonable alternatives. In some cases, customers may need to walk a reasonable distance to access service, or be subject to a two-seat ride instead of a one-seat ride.

 

To ensure an inclusive public comment process, NJ TRANSIT has scheduled a public information session and two public hearings (see below) on Tuesday, June 12, and Wednesday, June 13, 2012. In addition to the afternoon session at NJ TRANSIT Headquarters in Newark, there will be evening sessions held at both locations to encourage participation.

 

 

  • Tuesday, June 12, 2012
    11 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Public Information Session)
    5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
    NJ TRANSIT Headquarters, One Penn Plaza East, Newark
  • Wednesday, June 13, 2012
    5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
    Wayne Public Library, 475 Valley Road, Wayne

 

About NJ TRANSIT

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 895,000 weekday trips on 260 bus routes, three light rail lines, 12 commuter rail lines and through Access Link paratransit service. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 164 rail stations, 60 light rail stations and more than 19,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.